Vale Peter Down

The Gippsland community and Odyssey House Victoria lost a dear friend, visionary, and beloved community leader with the passing of Peter Down in May this year.

Peter with wife Margaret (pictured), was a driving force behind the establishment of the Odyssey House Victoria Hope residential rehabilitation centre in East Gippsland.

Theirs is a remarkable story of possibility, tenacity, and a determination to create change and literally give their local community hope. 

In 2015 after hearing the experiences of two people in recovery and realising that Gippsland was poorly resourced for drug and alcohol support services, Peter and Margaret envisioned the concept of a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. 

From 2016 plans evolved, a board of local champions was formed, and together, they gained strong community support, attracted funding and, realising that professional management was needed, approached Odyssey House Victoria. A partnership was formed.

With the official opening of Hope in April 2022, Peter and Margaret’s dream became a reality. 

Peter has left an indelible mark on his community and an enduring legacy for those seeking to recover from substance use. He will be missed.